In 1952, after owners of the land neighbouring the Mansion of Bahjí fled the Holy Land and their properties were expropriated by the Israeli government, Shoghi Effendi exchanged parcels of land near the present village of Ein Gev, on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, for a large tract of land and some buildings surrounding the Mansion and the Shrine. He immediately laid out a large garden, the shape of a quarter-circle, the north and west of the Mansion, focusing on the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh. He called it the "Haram-i-Aqdas" (The Most Sacred Precincts).
The Pilgrim House and the Room of the Master
Denied access to the Mansion, `Abdu'l-Baha rented this building in 1892 from Nasif Hawwa, one of the heirs and a relative of `Udi Khammar. Shoghi Effendi obtained title to the property in 1952 in the same transaction which included the lands surrounding the Mansion and the Shrine.
The Master's Tea House
This small building, at the southern end of the gardens and just outside the wall of the Bayan estate, had been used by `Abdu'l-Baha to receive the friends- including the first western pilgrims to visit the Holy Land in 1898. Shoghi Effendi obtained a long-term lease on the property in 1956, and the Universal House of Justice eventually purchased it.
The Guardian's Workroom
The small building outside the quadrant of the Haram-i-Aqdas had been a utility building for Nasif Hawwa's olive groves. The Guardian rebuilt it, fitted the roof as a place from which he could observe the development of the gardens, furnished it with tables for his drawings and sketches and decorated its walls with maps.
The Collins Gate
This beautiful wrought-iron gate was purchased in London by Shoghi Effendi with funds which had been given to him by Amelia Collins. It guards the main approach to the Shrine and the Haram-i-Aqdas, and the Guardian named it after Mrs. Collins.
Directions to Bahji
The entrance to the Bahá’í Gardens in ‘Akko is located at the end of the old access road to Kibbutz Shomrat. Visitors arriving by private automobile may take National Road 4 to the North ‘Akko junction. Heading south toward the center of ‘Akko, take the first left turn after 400 meters and follow the road to the end. Free parking is available near the entrance.
The garden entrance is a short walk from the Bustan HaGalil bus stops served by bus 271, which connects Haifa, ‘Akko and Nahariya.